Duo’s walk on the wild side is bat­tle against game poach­ing


AHUSBAND and wife team have com­pleted a gru­elling 500km trek across the Serengeti to raise money for an anti-poach­ing cam­paign.

Paul Naden and Lisa Nor­gren be­gan the chal­lenge as a re­sponse to the shock­ing death of Ce­cil the Lion in July.

It is be­lieved that they are the first Western­ers to be recorded walk­ing the en­tire dis­tance of the Serengeti.

The cou­ple com­pleted the trek in just 11 days in 40 de­gree heat on Septem­ber 24 with Arc­tic ex­plorer Jo­han Ernst Nil­son, Ma­sai Mara tribe guides and armed rangers.

Fa­ther-of-four Paul said: “We saw amaz­ing beauty and scenes of ab­so­lute hor­ror col­lide in the sear­ing heat.

“It was mag­nif­i­cent, the priv­i­lege to be walk­ing along­side these en­dan­gered an­i­mals was sim­ply mag­i­cal.

“But we also came across very sad scenes of dead ele­phants that had had their tusks cut off with chain­saws.”

In 24 hours they saw three killed ele­phants and found nearly a hun­dred snares de­signed to trap and kill en­dan­gered an­i­mals.

The cou­ple launched See­ing Red, a char­ity fo­cus­ing on tack­ling an­i­mal poach­ing, af­ter Paul stepped down from his role as a di­rec­tor with Mac­cles­field-based fi­nan­cial ser­vices firm Quint to ded­i­cate his time to sup­port­ing anti-poach­ing ef­forts.

Their jour­ney started at the Ma­sai Mara Na­tional Park in the north­ern Serengeti and ended at the Grumeti Game Re­serve.

Ev­ery day the group set off at dawn and walked be­tween 40km and 50km un­til 6pm in blis­ter­ing heat.

Paul, 46, said: “It was ex­tremely dif­fi­cult. The walk­ing was re­ally tough and there was very lit­tle rest. At night rangers had to pa­trol the tents be­cause lions would be out there cir­cling.”

How­ever Paul and Lisa, who live in Wilm­slow, were warned that poach­ers would be more dan- ger­ous than leop­ards.

At one point they nearly con­fronted poach­ers at the site of a lethal snare.

Paul said: “If we had met the poach­ers there would have been a gun­fight. It’s not a game to them.”

So far they have raised more than £10,000 to equip anti-poach­ing units and pro­vide re­sources for rangers work­ing to pro­tect wildlife in the Serengeti.

The cou­ple are con­tin­u­ing to raise to meet their £50,000 tar­get. To do­nate visit crowd­fund­ing.just­giv­ing.com/see­ing-red.

lions and

●● Paul Naden and wife Lisa Nor­gren with a guide on the Serengeti trek

●● They needed to be ac­com­pa­nied by armed rangers

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